If you’re going to eat parmos there’s a few things you’ve got to know. They’re a Teesside delicacy and you must be able to spell both Teesside and Middlesbrough correctly. You must also know that Middlesbrough is not Newcastle, nor is it Sunderland. Now read on.
The parmo is loosely based on actual Italian food but has evolved into something so much more. Breaded chicken, smothered in bechamel sauce and sprinkled with cheese is bad enough but these days it comes with toppings, pepperoni, garlic sauce, the options are endless.If you order one in a restaurant, they’re ever so slightly more refined, but are still the size of a dinner plate unless you stoop to ordering a “ladies parmo”.
To avoid this ignominy, and save your arteries, make one at home.
The easiest way to make breadcrumbed chicken comes from Jamie Oliver and is down to the magic of cream crackers.
In a food processor, mix together 6 crackers, 50g of butter, a garlic clove and the zest of a lemon and put this mixture on a plate. Bash two chicken breasts (or pork chops or turkey steaks) to flatten them out a bit. Put two tbsps of plain flour on a plate, and a beaten egg in a shallow bowl. Cover your meat in flour, dip in the egg, then press both sides firmly onto the cracker mixture, which should stick nicely.
Then cook in a 180C oven for fifteen minutes, the butter in the cracker mixture will help everything become nice and golden and crunchy. Quite frankly, these are good as they are but we have more to do.
While the chicken is cooking, make a thick white sauce (there’s a vague explanation how to in this post) and grate some cheese. Once the chicken is out of the oven, spoon over the white sauce, sprinkle with cheese and stick under a hot grill for five minutes until the cheese is molten and bubbling. It’s classically served with chips and salad and I see no reason to mess with the food of my forefathers.